My Christmas Gift This Year

As most of you know, at this point in my life I don’t ask for Christmas gifts, largely because if there’s something I want, I go out and buy it. That said, I do appreciate Christmas gifts that are thoughtful and have me as a person in mind. Like the jar pictured above, a gift from my wife Kristine.

The story behind it? Well, the short version is that, among other things, there are petty, shitty people out there, and from time to time they turn their pettiness and shittyness in my direction. Thing is, my life is excellent and my work and career is secure, and both in a way that none of their pettiness or shittyness will ever materially affect, so, really: Who gives a fuck? I understand they want me to give a fuck, because when you’re petty and shitty all you have is trying to make other people feel even for a moment like you are all the time, but: No. My jar of fucks to give to these people is empty.

I mentioned this to Krissy recently, and so for Christmas she got me an actual jar of fucks to give. And as you can see, it is indeed quite literally empty. It’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. This is a fabulous gift from my wife, and a physical reminder that, to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, petty, shitty people can’t make you feel as petty and shitty as they are without your consent. Personally speaking, I’ve got better things to do.

I also got a sweatshirt from my mother-in-law. Which is very nice! Thanks, Dora!

43 Comments on “My Christmas Gift This Year”

  1. If I’m eventually EXTREMELY senior at my job, maybe in 10+ years, I might get a jar like that and put it in my office, probably facing away from the office most of the time so people can ignore it if they don’t like the language. I’d only actually display it if I was feeling particularly cranky that day.

    That’s a pretty cool present. Well done Chrissy!

    Happy Holidays to you, Chrissy, Athena, your relatives, and various hangers-on. I hope everyone has a peaceful, lovely holiday.

  2. Several years ago I got my mom (now 80) a clear glass jar and filled it with marbles. For some reason that’s become one of her favorite gifts. May your Giving-of-Fucks jar always remain empty.

  3. As an avid home food preservationist, an empty jar makes me antsy. .. but in this case empty is a good thing.

  4. Huzzah! Krissy is a magnificent woman, and that is a magnificent gift. There are several people in my life that could make use of something like that. I could use something like that too, but I couldn’t display it at work where it would do the most good (yes, I AM thinking of the children.)

  5. Off-topic and so wield the mighty Mallet of Loving Correction if you wish.
    Thank you for many hours of enjoyment from your books and this website.

  6. You, sir, have a sagacious and insightful life-partner. But then you knew that already, of course.

  7. Great gift. I got a holster for the gun my husband gave me last Christmas. The gun I’ve yet to touch, let alone fire. I guess a jar would be nice.

  8. Hah, I did a cross stitch “behold the field in which I grow my fucks” for a friend’s December birthday this year.

    I wish I could be this cool, but unfortunately my job requires me to be the fuck-handing-out fairy with an infinite jar of fucks.

  9. “Well, the short version is that, among other things, there are petty, shitty people out there, and from time to time they turn their pettiness and shittyness in my direction.”
    There are!? Can we get names and addresses for those miscreants?

  10. hmm. well, merry christmas. i volunteer with the adult literacy program at my library. my student is reading your book The End of All Things aloud to me. he loves it and so do i. so, thanks and merry christmas

  11. “there are petty, shitty people out there, and from time to time they turn their pettiness and shittyness in my direction.”

    You have commented on this before. They must truly be petty and shitty to direct it at you. Then again those who speak truth to power (or the closed minded) often ruffle the feathers of lesser men (and women). But hey, somebody’s got to do it.

    I love your blog and your books.

    I hope your Christmas was truly merry and I wish you the very best in the new year.

  12. Christmas gift this year: quietly reading at the same time with my daughter with nice music and somebody else pouring the tea. Why isn’t the entire world this like I promised myself years ago?

  13. I feel like there’s a great inequality in the wealth of fucks in this country. The Fucking 1% is just lavishly supplied with them, and they give fucks like they’ll never run out – they throw fucks around like a rapper slings specie – gay marriage, Ethics in Gaming Journalism(TM), whatever. The rest of us are left with only enough fucks to give to get us through the day. It’s unfair.

  14. cb:

    Oddly enough, there is a difference between “being a petty and shitty individual” and “speaking truth to power.” And while the two fields can overlap, in my experience, it’s the equivalent of a petty and shitty clock being right twice a day.

    But I certainly understand why petty and shitty people like to think they’re doing the world a service, or at the very least, want to convince others that is what they are doing. It’s a less convincing argument than they appear to think it is.

  15. Bravo and Brava! Your spousal unit is most excellent. (I may have to print out the image for posterity.) This and the comments have given me a great chuckle/giggle.

    Back when I was much younger and thought I knew anything, I would not quite have known what to do with that and would’ve been vaguely scandalized while trying a polite smile and wondering at the rude humor. (I was also in an overly hung-up religious phase and going around in circles in my head about my sexual orientation. Wish I’d solved that, embraced that, back then.)

    Fortunately, at some point, I grew up a little more, went through the School of Hard Knocks some more, and at some point, decided certain words were good Saxon English, certain others were good Norman French, and why not use them occasionally, since other real human beings did, to express a few things in life that really require that blunt, earthy quality. Heh.

    Also, I ran into an article somewhere on the interwebz about the many and varied uses of that one particular f-word and found it most enlightening and educational. — And I’ve been lucky to have a few friends more relaxed about life than I was.

    (I’m really just going to ignore that I’m single and haven’t found the right person, and therefore, certain more expressive procreational recreational activities might be really nice, with the right guy…um, yeah. TMI. Neeevermind.)

    Dang, your wife may have hit upon a fantastic gift item. There’s a market for those jars! For multiple reasons. ROFL.

  16. Merry Gravmass (James P. Hogan wrote the story of this) and a Happy New Year to you and your family, John.

  17. Either I misunderstood what you replied or you misunderstood me. I was trying to be terse, perhaps too much so. I meant that you speak truth to power and the closed minded, and this can enrage the petty and shitty.

  18. Love the fucks to give jar. and comments, and whatever. I give a fuck about many things; poverty hunger, etc. but don’t expect me to care about your pet cause.
    I have no idea where I got this quote from; But just because you are feeling persecuted doesn’t make you a martyr; it may just mean you are a jerk.
    Thanks for a year of amusement and thought.

  19. The font used on the jar is Schneidler, weight Extra Bold. My font-geek powers appear to be in better shape than I’d thought. Heh.

  20. Dear John,

    Oh, that is so exceptionally fine a gift!

    If at some point the empty jar seems to be too empty, you could fill it with little wrapped treats of your preference and every time someone out there expects you to give a fuck, you could indulge yourself in a treat, thereby enjoying yourself at… welll, not their expense, but their instigation.

    Since there’s cool-gift sharing going on, this is what my Other Significant Other, Laura, gave me.

    It is now officially my favoritest tea mug. Ever.

    (“”, in case I haven’t inserted the image properly in the post)

    Happy Boxing Day!

    pax / Ctein

  21. Of course, the moment Krissy came up with the empty Xmas jar, in a probable reality somewhat adjacent to this one another Xmas jar full of fucks appeared. Like magic.

  22. I use a different method. I have engraved cards, with various “fucks” on them. Flying Fucks. Goat Fucks. Cluster Fucks. Which I hand to people with a sense of humor. And there’s a sticker in the back of the case, so when it’s empty, it informs all and few present that I am, in fact, all out of fucks to give. . .

  23. The detail I like best is that the jar has no lid. Because, if there’s never going to be anything in there, why would it need a lid?


  24. Haha! Omg, thanks for sharing that. Did your wife have any clue that not only would you appreciate the gift, but that the rest of us would as well? That is one of the most thoughtful and hilarious gifts I’ve ever come across!